After almost a decade in power the Morrison Government is still missing in action on wage growth for Australian workers.

The average worker went backwards by $800 in 2021. The budget has confirmed tonight that these losses are accelerating – the Morrison Government’s own projections show workers’ wages will go backwards in the first six months of this year by an average of $500.

Every single budget this Government has handed down has predicted wage growth just around the corner, and every single year under this Government Australian workers have suffered through record-low wage growth.

But even the empty promises in this budget only show wage growth in real terms inching to 1 per cent by 2025/26.

Rather than taking sensible steps to help workers, this Government walked away while wages for Australian workers go backwards in real terms, year after year.

The Prime Minister could have given his own employees a real pay rise or supported a real increase in the minimum wage, but instead he expects workers to address constantly increasing costs with one-off payments.

Quotes attributable to ACTU President Michele O’Neil:

“The cost of living crisis has been caused by almost a decade of record or near-record low wage growth which has been ignored by a Government that has gone missing when working people need them.

“The Government’s own projections show workers’ wages going backwards $500 in the first half of this year, on top of an average loss of $800 in 2021.

“The best the Prime Minister can offer workers in this budget is 1 per cent real wage growth by 2025/26, with wages going backwards in real terms through the first half of this year.

“One-off payments are not a substitute for real wage growth which keeps wages moving forward. Increases in rent, heating, childcare and other essentials are not one-off.

“The unemployment figures hide the truth of insecure jobs and low wages with more workers than ever before having to work 2, 3 or 4 jobs just to get by.

“The Prime Minister could take steps to create wage growth tomorrow. He could support a meaningful increase in the minimum wage and as one of the largest employers in the country he could support fair wage rises for his own employees, instead we have one-off payments designed save his own job.”